Jun 25, 2012

Having a Lark in Larkville

by Nikki Logan

I was asked middle of last year to participate on a new 8-book series set in country Texas, USA--The Larkville Legacy. Eight different authors all working off the same base storyline--in this case a ‘secret baby’ story where the babies are all grown up and finding their way back to their birth family.  So the legacy is one of secrets and lies.

The gorgeous sheriff Jed Jackson and ex-dancer Ellie Patterson
(and a barn that may be on fire inside, it seems...)

Clay Calhoun: patricarch of one of the most powerful families in the county, who practically owns half the pretty town of Larkville, USA. Loved and adored by all. But Clay has a secret. Many years ago he fell in love with Fenella Groves, a NY socialite, and brought her to live with him on his sprawling, hands-on ranch. She had trouble from the get-go fitting in with the locals, coping with the ranch work and—most importantly—conceiving the child Clay so desperately wants.  Eventually all of these things—and the fact that her old-money NY family weren't the slightest bit pleased she married a cowboy—drove an incontrovertible wedge between them.  Fenella and Clay separated and she fled back to New York, never to see him again. Wounded beyond measure, he let the woman he loved go.

Little did either of them know that she was pregnant with Calhoun heirs--two of them! She wrote to him as soon as she found out but by then he was involved with an opportunistic Larkville local who’d been in love with him forever and took her chance as soon as the NY socialite was out of the way. She interceptsedFenella’s letter and buried it deep in a drawer.

Where it sat for thirty years until Clay’s daughter, Jess, uncovered it following his death. And then Jess wrote a letter of her own….

Slow Dance with the Sheriff
My book is second cab off the rank, following on from the series vanguard, Patricia Thayer’s  The Cowboy Comes Home (check out her beautiful cover, just love it). Twin Ellie Patterson has pulled up in Larkville to visit the woman claiming in a letter to be her half-sister. But the Calhouns are all away on…business (spoilers!) and so uptight Ellie has to kill a week in the gorgeous, laid back town with its gorgeous, laid-back sheriff, Jerry ‘Jed’ Jackson.

Jed and Ellie spark immediately. She with her NY ways and he with his desperate-to-be-a-country-boy diligence. Jed’s done the NY thing and is in no hurry to live that way again. He rescued his loyal canine buddy from the horrors of big city life but really he was rescuing himself. They’ve both been content and secure—if more than a little bit lonely—since coming to Hayes County five years ago.

How they Meet
There are three scenes in this book that I really adored writing - the scene that gives the book its name where Jed and Ellie slowdance in a room full of people as though they were the only two in it, a scene out at an abandoned mine where Jed first sees the beauty and hurt in Ellie, and the ‘first meet’ scene right at the start of the book.

Jed rocks up to answer a 10-52 and finds Ellie perched high on the roof of her rental car, surrounded by… Well, why spoil it. You can read the first scene yourself here(Hint: turn your speakers on and feel free to play around with the buttons...)

Slow Dance with the Sheriff will be out in print August but you can buy it now and download the eBook when it comes out next week.

Do you enjoy ‘continuities’ where multiple authors get together and write connected stories?  Do they sustain your interest or do they start to feel a bit samey after the first few? How many is too many? Is there a type of continuity that you'd love to see?
Slow Dance with the Sheriff out in print in August, eBook in July.


  1. I really like continuities - in category and other books. Diamonds Downunder was a goodie! It's on Aussie Shelves again now. Love when there's a mystery to be solved.
    Robbie, off to read the first scene!!

  2. Your book sounds fab and I nearly fell of my chair laughing at the burning barn comment!

  3. Hi Nikki - I love continuities. I think because even though the settings are familiar, each author makes that and the characters her own. Great post.

  4. Nikki, how exciting to be part of the continuity and your characters sound so fascinating - different enough to strike sparks off each other.

    Like Helen, I enjoy seeing how different authors unveil different aspects of the overall series as well as dishing up their own special story.

  5. Fantastic stuff, Nikki. I have enjoyed the continuities I've read, so I have no doubt this would be great. I love how things are intersped throughout a series and then have a life of it's own with each author.

  6. I love continuities - they're so much fun to read - love how each author brings her own to the series and yet we get to know about a wider cast of characters than usual over the course of the series. This series sounds great!!!

  7. I love continuities too! In fact, I'm writing one at the moment for Desire. It's a six-author series set in Washington D.C. and I'm a bit in love with the hero I was given, Hayden Black.

    Can't wait to read Slow Dance With The Sheriff. Love the title!

  8. Robyn - Diamonds Down Under was a GREAT-y!! Awesome that it's out again.

    Scarlet - either an on-fire barn or they're harbouring an alient vessel in there ;)

    Helen - yeah, me too. And because (like all good series) you can stay in the 'world' that the authors have created and not have to leave them so quickly.

  9. Annie - it *was* exciting, particularly being inside a Patricia Thayer/Marion Lennox sandwich (either side of me). Fangirl moment.

    Eleni - one of the most fun parts for me was inventing all the business names that littered the town. We all got involved with that (Gus's Fillin' Station, Gracie May's Diner...) I'm personally responsible for Nan's Bunk'n'Grill and for establishing the Larkville Chamber of Commerce - LOL.

    Natalie - yes. Bringing your own voice to the series but fitting in within the wider construct was challenging and fun.

  10. Rach - oooh, really? This is your second...third...continuity? You must be a pro by now. Hayden Black - strong and uncompromising name. And yep, I was REALLY happy with the title. It's captured the mood exactly.

  11. love continuities, just curious to know the next story and i think this is an author's homework how to make the continuities to be more and more great story :)